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(FL)EXpressing Our Empathy

by Chloe Chin (Sec 2A), Amelia Lee (Sec 2B), Delaine Tan (Sec 2E), Lauren Soh (Sec 2E) and Sarah Chan (Sec 3B)

As Term 1 drew to a close, the Secondary 2 students could finally breathe a sigh of relief after going through many Weighted Assessments. It was finally time for them to enjoy the Secondary Two Fairfield Learning EXperience (FLEX) Week! This year, the Secondary Two level had a whale of a time during their last week of school. They engaged in a plethora of enriching activities carefully curated for them as part of the FLEX programme, where they had the unique opportunity to learn about inclusivity and bond with their classmates.
Designed to spread awareness about people with disabilities, the Secondary Two FLEX programme enabled students to attain a better understanding of mental health issues faced in Singapore and taught them how to remain calm when faced with difficult situations.

To start off the exhilarating week, workshops were conducted by ResiL!ence @ SHINE, an organisation that provided mental health services to youths. The workshops were focused on the different mental health issues, such as eating and anxiety disorders, depression and self-harm. Students were taught healthy coping methods such as keeping a gratitude journal and learning how to spot the signs and symptoms of these mental health issues. In fact, students like Shaan also benefited from these activities, as he proudly proclaimed, “Through this workshop, I learnt about the symptoms of different mental illnesses and how to identify such symptoms.” 

The Secondary Two students also participated in the Diff-Ability stations that were organised by the teachers, the Fairfield Guidance Committee and TOUCH, a non-profit charity service. Each station, which focused on a specific disability, educated the students on these conditions and how they could affect one’s life. These simulations allowed them to experience what it is like to be disabled. For example, by experiencing what someone with dyslexia sees when reading passages and books, the students were able to better understand the difficulties they encounter and their resultant frustrations.  Wynstelle from Secondary 2E was one of the many students who enjoyed the activities! She could be heard exclaiming excitedly, “The stations were meaningful and engaging, as they certainly helped me to understand and empathise more with those with disabilities!” Other Secondary Two students also shared similarly upbeat sentiments about the Secondary 2 FLEX Week activities.

Towards the end of FLEX Week, the Secondary Two students participated in an inter-class competition. The classes played a total of seven exciting and amusing games, such as grooving to a Just Dance video of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by One Direction and having a basketball shootout. Despite the sudden heavy downpour, wide smiles were plastered on the students’ faces as they relished the thrilling activities. Jubilant chatters and boisterous laughter filled the air as the Secondary Two students ended the term on a celebratory note while bonding with each other.

Through all these fun and memorable activities that were well-planned by the school, the Secondary 2 students learnt to better understand the different types of disabilities that some people might face and display greater empathy towards the people around them.